MLS Regular Season
It's time to start getting serious about Saturday's game in Houston. We get things started by breaking down the Toyota Keys to the Match for Saturday's Texas Derby pres. by Novo Nordisk:
FC Dallas chopped down the Timbers at Toyota Stadium last Saturday in a weird match that saw two red cards issued to both teams in the first half. The league-wide editors seem to be jumping on the DTID bandwagon early in the season with FC Dallas and most national pundits have them on the higher end of the rankings. Let's take a look:
MLSSoccer.com kept FC Dallas atop their MLS Power Rankings. Last week, they had the Hoops jumping 12th place to 1st place. This week, no radical changes for FCD as they maintained the top spot in the rankings.
COMMENT: "Mauro Díaz is the Power Rankings Politburo's MVP of March. That goal against Portland felt inevitable – he was the best player on the field throughout."
Our friends at ESPNFC.com are slowly but surely creeping FC Dallas up on their lists, placing FC Dallas at 3rd place in their rankings (last week 5th). They hint at FC Dallas playing so many matches at home so far has helped their record.
COMMENT: "Who cares if FCD's record is a tad inflated by playing three of four at home? Oscar Pareja's side has done the job despite missing half a starting back line. And, yes, Mauro Diaz continues to dazzle. Dallas impresses from practically every vantage point."
SI.com's Planet Futbol has FC Dallas grounded in comparison to the rest of the bunch at 4th place. SI.com cited last year's hot start to the season as a reason for cautious optimism for this 2014's fiery beginning.
COMMENT: Last year’s second half of the season should show Dallas fans why it’s dangerous to be excited about a fast start, but their team is on top of the Western Conference standings after a month. Mauro Díaz again provided a spark, and the 23-year-old looks like a good early candidate for Newcomer of the Year.
By Mohammad Bushnaq
It's Derby Week! FC Dallas takes on their bitter intrastate rivals, the Houston Dynamo, Saturday night for the first (and only) meeting this season between the two clubs. Last season, FC Dallas played well against the Dynamo, notching two wins in both matches and reclaiming "El Capitan" for the DTID faithful.
WATCH: FCD 3, Houston 2
Game 1 - March 17, 2013 - FC Dallas 3 Houston Dynamo 2: FC Dallas came home to Frisco after a rough loss in Southern California to face their mortal enemies, the Orange from Houston. FC Dallas showed up to this match early, finding the net twice in the first half thanks to two set piece finishes by George John and Andrew Jacobson. After the early 2-0 lead, Andrew Driver entered the match and changed the dynamic for the Dynamo. A sloppy clearance by Michel cost FC Dallas the first goal in the 79th minute as Driver drove a shot under the crossbar and in for Houston's first goal of the game. Four minutes later, Raul Fernandez failed to handle a cross in from Cam Weaver and Brad Davis made him pay, bringing the Dynamo back from the dead for a temporary 2-2 result. In the 90th minute, Kenny Cooper was back "with a bang" sending the FC Dallas fans celebrating a St. Patrick's Day win over the Dynamo.
WATCH: FCD 3, Houston 0 USOC
Game 2 - June 12, 2013 - FC Dallas 3 Houston Dynamo 0: The two teams met again three months later in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Round of 16 at Toyota Stadium. After a rather drab first half an hour, FC Dallas took the lead in the 38th minute off of service from the set-piece wizard, Michel. The Brazilian sent a cross in that found Andrew Jacobson in the box. AJ touched the ball to Kenny Cooper and the striker had his second goal against the Dynamo in three months. Just before the clock struck one hour, Michel and Cooper were at it again. Straight from a corner kick, Cooper thundered home a pinpoint Michel cross for his second goal of the game. FC Dallas completed the rout with a sweet lob by Zach Loyd after Jackson caused a fumble by Dynamo keeper Deric. Loyd collected and calmly placed the ball over the keeper and defenders and in the net for the 3-0 lead. With the result, FC Dallas was through to the quarterfinals.
The voting is in and Mauro Diaz has run away with the first Etihad Airlines MLS Player of the Month award.
Having earned over 60% of the vote, "El Magico" is the first FC Dallas player to win POTM since Kevin Hartman in July 2011 and he becomes the sixth player in franchise history to win the award.
Diaz has been truly incredible in the month of March playing 346 of a possible 360 minutes while scoring two spectacular goals and adding an assist(that doesn't count his other assist to Je-Vaughn Watson in the Chivas USA game). Since coming into the league late last year, Diaz has played 14 games with five goals and three assists to his name, averaging a goal or assist every 96 minutes. Those are some truly stunning numbers and even more amazing when you consider he's just 23 years old.
The Argentine is quickly becoming one of the biggest stars in DFW sports and if you don't have season tickets you really need to check out our Mauro Diaz "10 for 10" pack.
Yesterday, FCDTV released the first "Hooper Jams" album ahead of Saturday's Texas Derby pres. by Novo Nordisk, and we want you to help fill out HOOPER's first EP with a fifth track.
So far we have:
1. Wrecking Bull
2. More humid than humid
3. You’re not gonna take it
4. Let the cannon go
Here's where you come in! Tweet your favorite and most creative anti-Houston or pro-Dallas song titles with #HooperJams. We'll post our favorites on Friday and pick one of them to win two tickets to next Saturday's game against Seattle Sounders FC.
Get those creative juices flowing and tweet your best #HooperJams and you could win FCD tickets!
It's officially #TexasDerby week. Let the games begin:
While Mauro Diaz curiously was not named to the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week for his third consecutive home game despite scoring a late game-winning goal, FCD did have one representative on this week's team as 18-year-old homegrown Kellyn Acosta made the team for his marauding effort on Saturday night.
Acosta completed 45 passes in Saturday's game as well as two key passes and his brilliant assist to Blas for the first goal on Satudray night. Congratulations Kellyn!
Here's what they had to say:
D: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas) – Picked up an assist and was relentness and brave in general down FCD's right side.
Mauro "The Magician" Diaz just keeps blowing our minds on a weekly basis so far in 2014 and if you're a Mauro fan out there looking for a season ticket package, we've got the one for your.
Our Mauro "10 for 10" package includes 10 of the remaining 14 MLS home games games at Toyota Stadium including games against the LA Galaxy, Seattle Sounders FC and Toronto FC as well as one autographed Mauro Diaz replica jersey per account!
This $600 value starts at just $350 and you can call 888-FCD-GOAL to order yours today or follow this link.
You may have been wondering why FC Dallas players were wearing black armbands and, if you watched any other games around the league last weekend, why all MLS players were wearing them.
It was a league-wide initiative where players wore armbands with #Kuykenstrong on them in memory of Shawn Kuykendall, a former MLS player who died of a rare form of cancer earlier this year.
For more information on Shawn and how to support the Kuykenstrong Foundation, visit www.Kuykenstrong.com.
Segment 1: The buildup to Wednesday's USA v Mexico friendly is all about Bayern Munich teenager Julian Green, who will be making his debut under Jurgen Klinsmann after committing his international future to the United States -- over Germany -- earlier this year.
Segment 2: ESPN's Alejandro Moreno, former J.J. Pearce HS and Dallas Texans star, returns to the show to assess the Mexico side of things as part of our preview before heading to the desert himself to join Ian Darke and Taylor Twellman in a three-man booth that will call the match in Phoenix.
Segment 3: Former U.S. Olympic captain Brian Dunseth, now an accomplished broadcaster, reunites with the boys to give Dunny his chance to weigh in on Julian Green, David Beckham's latest stadium pronouncements in Miami and other pertinent USMNT/MLS matters.
Segment 4: A World Cup staged exclusively in Texas? Steve and Stein, taking their cues from a Reddit campaign pushing the idea, consider the feasibility of this fantasy actually happening.